Friday, 30 March 2012

Describe friendship...

To me...

Friendship is the most comfortable feeling on Earth. Knowing that there is someone to whom you can talk about anything and everything, without pre-formed apprehension of how the message will be received and how the judgements will be made, truly gives me an unparalleled sense of belonging. The way I talk with my friends pretty much determines the kind of friendship that we share. With some, I mutter a few words and they instantly can get a grasp on every thought in my mind. Mutual understanding seems to flow on a perfect path, sometimes so perfect that I feel I am living a novel where everything that occurred had been ingeniously set out for me by the Lord and I had to do nothing except reap them. There are others to whom I speak and write my thoughts like if they came to replace the personal diary I never kept. These are people I feel free to trust. I do trust all my friends, and where it is difficult to, I at least make an effort to trust them but I cannot deny that there are some special ones who stand out for the foundation of trust is what supports our relationship, contrary to others, whose friendship is the foundation on which trust stands. There are yet a few whom I deeply appreciate for one exceptional reason that is heavy enough to stand on its own: for granting me their complete focus, for paying attention to every little thing that I say, for creating that comfy and welcoming atmosphere that makes you want to hold time tight that it be unable to move. For a few seconds, I feel like I were the most important being to them on Earth, a feeling which can be really therapeutic no matter the depth of sadness I've drowned myself in. Everybody is important for himself, fact. But concentrating on someone, in its truest sense, cannot be done unless with the sacrifice of oneself-- of one's own thoughts, opinions, and the urge to voice them out. This attention, undeserved perhaps, stealthily breaks all the barriers of fear and resistance, securely nurtures trust and also maintains it. There is one category of friends inside my circle who perhaps I value most, in my own little court of justice with the magistrates advocating fairness for loyalty. They are the ones who stand by my side no matter how rough the tides might be, sometimes even when I am illusorily standing on a shark I imagine to be an oasis in the sea. I wonder if I esteem them more than I pity them for being my friends then. But for sure, if they stayed there with me when I stood alone on that little oasis of mine, they will forever stay in my heart.

Of course, my frame is not all cherry pink. I fight with my friends, regularly, as substitute for the digestive pill I need to take for the meals I cannot digest. The satisfaction though that remains after a fight lies in knowing that even when I am the most annoying, pestilent, spiteful, insensitive, boringly grouchy and intolerable individual on Earth, I am not alone! 
I mean, I still have some people to bear my heavy load-- what did you think?

True friends are not chosen, they are just made. They just happen, like part of a natural process we are least prepared to predict and always ready to ignore. Because even though there is a human tendency to get attracted to the people we most want to resemble, this attraction perishes if it is not regularly fed with care and attention from both sides. If you haven't had your lifetime friends yet, then perhaps you need to continue believing and show patience, or perhaps they came but you lacked vigilance.

I have observed that all human beings, no matter how stunning their personalities can be, deep down share a common fear, though the degree of this fear varies: the fear of being lonely in an over-crowded world. Good friends will teach you to overcome this fear. They will bear the worst of you, they will bring out the best in you, and in appreciating the person that you are instead of the image which you want to project of yourself, they will teach you to value your intrinsic self. Theoretically, that could imply stuck self-development. But practically speaking, it is in truly accepting yourself that you can aim to become better. It is in knowing your faults that you can subside, if not completely eliminate them. And friends help you, to become better.

If you are one of my friends and, on reading the few characteristics I have mentioned above there is a smile on your face, then know that I am glad to have you and that I will jealously keep you until the day I bye this world. :)

What is it to you?

To you as a person who has lived on Earth, met people, and experienced firsthand. 

There are many definitions around the web. Try to give an answer as subjective as possible, based on your own personal experience. You are sure it will be something no one could replicate. Be as explicit as you can, and as genuine as you can.

The best reply will be posted here, with due credit given to the writer.

Good luck!

Until someone else finds better:

"I never wrote here, in fear what I say may not be accepted by the author. But I am now, because I managed to overcome the fear, well, suddenly?

First of all, friendship is a state of mind, which is exhibited by both the friends. A state of mind in which you hold affection for each other. You may not express it or may not be able to express it, but there is a "telepathic" (?) communication which enables each other to know themselves. Perhaps I am not clear enough. This is the first requirement of friendship and this, cannot be developed consciously. It "just happens".

Secondly, friends will always care for each other. This will manifest itself in several sub-qualities: 1)They will always desire the best for each other. 2) They will understand each other and provide mutual support (could be emotional only) 3) They will trust each other and 4) They will have empathy for each other, or the ability to put oneself in other's shoes

Will friends fight? Yes, they will. But this fight will not mean that they will stop the "telepathy", for it cannot be stopped in a true friendship... Nor can a true friend ever desire bad for the other."


Friday, 23 March 2012

For My Dear Sister


I just want to let you know that you are the one who means the most to me on Earth. You are the one companion who has shared with me all the trials and difficulties of life. You are the one who stays when my friends turn away. You rejoice at my happiness, and when you do, you make me feel I am important to the world. You are the one I can freely sing and cry to. You are the arms I can run into. All of this, without having to wait for an invitation. You are the smile in my life and the hope that remains when everything else has turned bad. I am silly and weak at heart, dismayed by every little thing people tell me, you are my source of comfort and courage then. You nurse me when I’m ill, and you never let me tire. You are sister, and mother and father in a whole to me.

I may have shouted at you when you were being lazy or when you talk loudly, but I still love you. I may have not stayed by your side during the times I did not want to encourage your follies, but I still love you. I may have said bad things to you in anger, but I still love you. And this, you should know: I will always love you.

Even if we are separated one day, I know that I would have never lost you. You are special to me in every way. I have a friend for life, and not just for few days and nights.

May you be gifted with life's biggest joys and never-ending bliss. May all your dreams be wrapped in a gift box to you by God. You are yourself a gift to the world and to me. And for that, I consider myself the luckiest of all.

Happy birthday my lovely sister.

I am a day late, forgive me. You told me yesterday not to touch the PC because you wanted to reply to your birthday wishes. I did not, I know you will check my page, like you do everyday. Else, it would have been a pity to miss the surprise and even more, that drop of tear would not be rolling down your cheeks.

With love,
Your 'Ti Poupette'

Friday, 16 March 2012


Polygamy is defined as the custom of having more than one spouse at the same time. A polygyny refers to the marriage of a man with multiple women at the same time. A polyandry is the term used to denote the marriage of a woman to more than one man at the same time. A group marriage is used to denote the marriage of multiple husbands and wives at the same time. "At the same time" is an important word here as some countries do not consider religious marriages to be legal ones, unless there has also been a court marriage-- source of many abuses in societies. 

Polygamy is practised in many religions of the world but I shall mostly talk about Islam since it directly concerns me (and to avoid the post being too long). But if you practice another religion and wish to base your comments upon it, it shall be most welcomed. This is why the title has been left open as "Polygamy" instead of "Polygamy in Islam." 

Do note that "polygyny", by its true definition is not allowed in Islam. Islam restricts the number of wives that can be taken to 4, while in a polygyny, there is no limit to this number. When referred to polygyny in the article, it is referred to polygyny in Islam since there is no equivalent I found I could use. 

As many people are aware, polygyny was allowed in Islam, and for very good reasons with strict limitations. But it was never initiated by Islam. 

The verse in the Quran says:
Noble Verse 4:3 "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice." 

This extract I'll quote from Islam: The True Religion of God Almighty below shows why Noble Verse 4:3 was introduced (and again, not initiated) in Islam: 

"Noble Verse 4:3 was revealed to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in Madina after he migrated to it from Mecca and established an Islamic state there right after the battle of Uhud in which the Muslims not only had lost badly against the Pagans, but also suffered a dramatic decrease in the number of Muslim men. The Muslim men before that battle were approximately 700. They became only 400 after the battle. This loss had left so many Muslim women (1) Widows, and (2) Not able to get married if they were single. 

To make matters even worse, the Muslims had faced yet another battle against the Pagans in Mecca and its neighboring tribes who wanted to attack the Muslims in Madina to finish off Islam once and for all, and by the Jews and the Christians in Madina who betrayed the Muslims in the "battle of Trench" after signing a defense treaty with Muhammad peace be upon him against the Pagans. 

All praise due to Allah Almighty. With Allah's Will and Mercy, the Muslims had miraculously won the battle against the Pagans of Mecca and drove them back to where they came from, and then attacked the Jews and the Christians who betrayed the defense treaty and kicked those hypocrites out of Madina forever! 

These continuous battles against the Muslims were very costly in terms of Muslim men's lives. The women had to be taken care of one way or another. For this reason, Allah Almighty had revealed the Noble Verse 4:3 to Muhammad peace be upon him to solve the social problems that the Muslims were facing. That is why at the very beginning of the Noble Verse 4:3 we see Allah Almighty setting a conditional clause for Orphans "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans...(4:3)." This Noble Verse came down for the purpose of protecting the Orphans and to increase the number of the Muslims by allowing the men to marry multiple wives (preferably from the grown Orphans at that time), up to four wives only. The purpose was absolutely not for man's sexual pleasure nor  privilege, nor was it to support man's personal ego. It was revealed to solve a major social problem to prevent major sins such as illegal sex and prostitution. 

Polygamy is not encouraged in the Noble Quran, nor Allah Almighty had allowed it because He really liked it. He was clearly careful to highly discourage polygamy to men by telling them "but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one...(4:3)" which clearly orders men to either be fair or to not marry at all, despite the fact that we lost many men, Allah Almighty still didn't want polygamy to really take place. That's why He later told men "Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire...(4:129)" which clearly nullifies the excuse that He gave them to practice polygamy. Is this a contradiction then? Absolutely not! It clearly proves that when Allah Almighty allowed polygamy, He only allowed it because we (the Muslims) had an emergency; we lost almost half of our men if not even more. When Islam later became much stronger and Muslims defeated the infidels in the continues battles that were forced upon them (the Muslims), Allah Almighty nullified the excuse that he gave to men to practice polygamy, which would then lead to prohibiting polygamy altogether." 

What the quote above in brief means is that Islam restricted "polygyny" in its true sense (refer to the clarification of definitions given above). Before we proceed, it is strongly suggested to read what Dr Zakir Naik has to say about polygamy:

There are some clear conditions attached with this practice: 

1) financial,
2) physical and emotional ability,
3) equal treatment of the wives,
4) the approval of the prospective female to this kind of marriage,
5) the wives are among those who are not prohibited for him to marry either permanently (such as aunts, foster daughters and others, or temporary such as marrying two sisters at the same time),
6) and that the number of wives is limited to up to four. 

Clearly, polygyny was allowed to alleviate suffering and pain, and not to cause it. But like everything else that is 'permitted' and is in people's self-interests, there tends to be an abuse of it. Many 'men of faith' practise it because they think they can, to substitute their older wife (wives) with younger ones, to satisfy their high sex drives (i.e. to commit adultery under the umbrella of verse 4:3 above) or simply because others are doing it. In the 20th century, Abd al Aziz, who was once the ruler of Saudi Arabia, married around 300 women for the sake of his 'gene pool'. There are many other sheiks who keep marrying and divorcing girls everyday just enough to uphold the cycle of 4 women permitted. Often, it is a thing of miracle for a father to remember the names of his off-springs. Many more, strategically, marry and produce children with a first woman; they then proceed to take another one woman with the view that their first wives cannot leave them for the sake of their children. 

All of the above cases are forced, and hence, go against what Islam permitted. A marriage contract allows for both the man and the woman to lay down conditions they think will help them maintain peace and happiness in their future together. In case the contract is disrespected by the husband, the wife has the right to appeal to an Islamic Court. 

The verses below lucidly illustrate the wife's rights in a marriage contract and the importance accorded to her will: 

Verse (4:19) (see link for translations): 

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.”(Quran 30: 21)” 

"live with them ( wife or wives) on a footing of kindness and equity” (Quran 4:19) 

“And women (wives) shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.” (Quran 2:28) 

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also said: 

"The best man among you is the best with his wife". 

"The best of your women are those: Who are loving and kindly; who look after their chastity; Who are not arrogant or disobedient to their husbands; Who are faithful to their husband in their absence."

Polygyny in Islam was a provision, a remedy for a social disbalance that could occur in exceptional cases. Allah did not directly prohibit it because Islam is a true religion for all times and all places that doesn't need to be modified, the Quran is the last Holy book that was to descend to us and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was to be our last guide. This is why, by logic and good reason, Allah left the issue of polygyny open for Muslims in case they will require this 'remedy' for social and economic 'diseases' that they will face. 

In 2012, according to estimates by the CIA, the world's male to female ratio is 1.01 male(s)/female. Simple Mathematics would show that there is no gender imbalance as such. Of course, there are many men dying in wars, but there are also many women killed for various reasons, in wars as well. So if every man takes four wives, that should mean three-quarter of the world's men would have to go without wives. And if a man's sex drive is so strong that it cannot be controlled during the 7-days of menstruation of his wife (another reason for polygyny advocated by some), then the bachelors would be finding themselves raping married women-- something we could not blame them for if they acted powerlessly in face of their high sex drive. Would this then not contradict the purpose for which polygyny was allowed in Islam? 

That a man needs to marry four wives because he needs to attain sexual satisfaction and spiritual wellbeing is a fallacious argument. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would have married only virgins if he really practised polygyny for the sake of sexual pleasure: 

"He was married to one wife, Khadijah, until she died. He had all his children, except one, from Khadijah. Thus, she and her children enjoyed the Prophet's full attention for as long as she was married to him; twenty-five years. For all practical purposes, Muhammad had one wife - from the age of 25 to 50. During the remaining 13 years of his life, he married the aged widows of his friends who left many children. The children needed a complete home, with a fatherly figure, and the Prophet provided that. Providing a fatherly figure for orphans is the only specific circumstance in support of polygamy mentioned in the Quran (4:3). 

Other than marrying widowed mothers of orphans, there were three political marriages in the Prophet's life. His close friends Abu Bakr and Omar insisted that he marry their daughters, Aisha and Hafsah, to establish traditional family ties among them. The third marriage was to Maria the Egyptian; she was given to him as a political gesture of friendship from the ruler of Egypt. 

This perfect example tells us that a man must give his full attention and loyalty in marriage to his wife and children in order to raise a happy and wholesome family."[Quran: the final testament : authorized English version] 

Islam has allowed everyone, men and women alike, to freely choose what they think is best for themselves and asks for this choice to be respected. If more and more people, especially women, are choosing monogamy today, it does not mean a disobedience to Allah. I personally think monogamy is the best choice out.

Because when Allah created Adam and placed him in Eden where he was to be the happiest of all creatures, He created for him only one Eve. 


Friday, 9 March 2012

Vote Results

When having to choose...

I do what I have to
  5 (50%)
I do what I want to
  4 (40%)
I do what others want me to
  1 (10%)

Votes: 10

If the only thing you could speak was the truth, would you?

Speak with everyone
  3 (50%)
Speak with friends only
  1 (16%)
Speak with parents only
  3 (50%)
Choose only one person to speak to
  2 (33%)
Not speak at all
  3 (50%)

Votes: 6

If you had to choose to donate an organ now and had only 3 months to live, which one would do (be sincere with yourself, no one knows who votes what)?

  2 (22%)
  7 (77%)

Votes: 9

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

If a child hasn't enough to eat, should he be working?

I don’t think he should be. If he is forced to work, he shall most probably learn only one skill and this will lower his opportunities for future career openings. Ultimately, he will be condemned to adopt his initial job for life, which many people actually do. That reverts to an earlier age of slavery, where one life= one job + no or little opportunities for growth.

There are many organisations set up to help such children have a better life. 

What are your views?

Image source: Foreverliving

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


Even before we are born, we are listening for voices. Among the few sensory perceptions a child acquires in the womb is the ability to hear his mother’s voice. That is when we learn to speak… and ironically, forget it when we begin to understand. 

Freedom of speech is a basic human right which means that it is accrued to us the moment that we are humans, irrespective of our racial origins, of the level of development of the country we inhabit and of how we are ruled. Many take their fundamental rights for granted. Many do not know about their rights. Many do not even know they have rights. For some, speech is sadly detached from freedom: their voices are throttled as a way to block their thoughts and dim their existence. For others, speech is pathetically attached with fear: fear of being opposed, fear of being persecuted, fear of evoking a taboo, fear of being different, and often, fear of the silence. It is easier to speak when everybody else is doing the same, but much harder to do so when a dead silence prepares for the first voice to be clear and distinct.

History displays eloquently that the most advanced civilizations of their times were those that privileged dissent and dialogic discussions— the Greek philosophers of Athens, the Roman Courts, literature of the Ancient Egyptians, the tolerance of heterodoxy and debates during Akbar’s and Ashoka’s reign in India. All of them shared a will to speak that helped shape creative cultures and prosperous nations. Like Americans today do on a second to second basis. What is right in America is a willingness to discuss what is wrong in America (Harry C. Bauer, U.S. prof. of librarianship). Voice is crucial in the pursuit of social justice. It is our prime tool to fight against the social evils of discrimination, prejudices, slavery, oppression, war, and unnecessary rebellions. Only when equipped with liberty of speech can the search for truth and the quest for the best be possible.

Man speaks in two ways: either he has something to say or he has to say something. Plato considered the former wise and the latter, foolish. Who has to say something speaks what others want him to—we meet here those who speak with fear. And who has something to say adds part of himself to the world—his speech mirrors his soul. People do realize today that they are free to speak. What they do not realize is that they are also free to think. Freedom of speech without freedom of thought is comparable to an engine without oil: at some time it will stop and will have to be pushed by others to move forward.

If only people could muster enough will power to get rid of their fear and voiced out their thoughts and sided with the truth, injustice around the world could be overcome. Do not choose silence because it’s the easy way out your human fellows have adopted, instead feed them with a voice. Be a lawyer to those who cannot argue their own cases and a journalist to those who are not able to reveal the injustices committed upon them. Liberty of speech provokes other liberties to be used. You will fear freedom if you let everyone around you remain in chains. Speak to discover what the world has bad and change it to good. Speak because that is when you truly exist. Speak because you can. 

Ram Mohun Roy shared an enlightening vision with the world when he wrote in a 19th century Bengali poem:

Just consider how terrible the day of your death will be.
Others will go on speaking, and you will not be able to argue back.

Picture source: Motifakes by Faceplant31